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How Often Should I Get a Full Mouth Series of Dental X-Rays?

dental x-rays

As patients, we often wonder how frequently we should be getting certain dental procedures done - and one common procedure that may cause confusion is the full mouth series of dental x-rays. In this article, we will dive deeper into understanding when it is appropriate for a patient to get a full mouth series at their general dentist office.

What is a Full Mouth Series of X-Rays?

A full mouth series, also known as FMX or FMS, consists of 14-21 individual x-ray images taken from different angles around the teeth and jawbone. These images provide detailed information about the health and structure of your teeth and surrounding areas, allowing your dentist to diagnose any potential issues more accurately.

Factors to Consider With Dental X-Rays:

When determining how often you should get a full mouth series of dental x-rays at your regular dentist's office, there are several factors to consider:

  1. Age: Children require more frequent x-rays as they are still growing and developing their adult teeth.

  2. Oral Health History: Patients with previous or current oral health problems such as cavities or gum disease may need more frequent x-rays to monitor progress.

  3. Changes in Symptoms: If you experience any new symptoms or changes in oral health between appointments (e.g., pain or sensitivity), your dentist may recommend getting another x-ray sooner than scheduled.

Guidelines for Frequency:

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), adults without significant risk factors for dental issues should have an FMX every three years while children under age 18 should receive them every 1-2 years.


It ultimately depends on each individual patient's needs and risk factors determined by their dentist. Be sure to discuss this topic during regular dental check-ups so you can together determine what schedule works best for maintaining optimal oral health.

Remember that preventative care through routine examinations and cleanings is essential towards avoiding major dental treatments down the road.


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